Author Archives: Annie

About Annie

I am a 44 year-old woman with a handful of 1/2 marathons behind me. I live in an idyllic setting in the Swan Mountains in NW Montana with my husband, son and mini-schnauzer and our new puppy, a german wire-haired pointing griffon. I am a certified coach with the International Coach Federation and also a licensed marriage and family therapist. I came to this profession as a second career. After spending almost 15 years as Executive Assistant for various small and large financial services firms, I finished my Bachelor's at Smith College and completed my Master's at PLU in WA. I received my coach training through Seattle Coach in Seattle, WA.

The Best Dad

The best dad says he’s sorry
when he loses his temper
when he overreacts or
says a mean thing.

The best dad says I Love You
when the sun rises
when the skies open with rain
when day turns to night.

The best dad shows
what hard work looks like
what loving a mom means
what patience is.

The best dad admits
his faults
his joys
his hurts.

The best dad knows
your faults
your joys
your hurts.

The best dad encourages
your dreams
your exploration

The best dad cries
when you cry
when you have tears of happiness
when you grow up and go.

The best dad stands
up for you
between you and any danger
with you.

The best dad teaches

you have the best dad.
~annie ricci~

Love, Mom

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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Candy Hearts

Dear Hunter,

It has happened about three times now.  You are deep in sleep around four in the morning and you throw your arm around me, snuggle up like a spoon behind me and say, “I love you, mama.”   The sweetest words from the sweetest sleep-voice there ever was.  My heart can barely hold all the love I feel in those pre-dawn confessions.

You got some candy hearts for Valentine’s Day this week and you ask me what each one says before you eat it. Be Mine. Hugs. Kiss Me. And you pop each one in your mouth saying, “Mmmmm this one is good.”  You crack me up, kiddo.

You are my candy heart, my little valentine-light-bearer. And I will cherish your midnight murmurs, holding them in my soul, forever.

Thank you, son.

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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


I Get To Love You

By Ruelle

“I Get To Love You”
One look at you; my whole life falls in line.
I prayed for you; before I called you mine.
I can’t believe it’s true, sometimes.
I can’t believe it’s true.

I get to love you, it’s the best thing that I’ll ever do.
I get to love you, it’s a promise I’m making to you.
Whatever may come; your heart I will choose.
Forever I’m yours, forever I do.
I get to love you, I get to love you.

The way you love, it changes who I am.
I am undone and I thank God once again.
I can’t believe it’s true, sometimes.
I can’t believe it’s true.

I get to love you, it’s the best thing that I’ll ever do.
I get to love you, it’s a promise I’m making to you.
Whatever may come; your heart I will choose.
Forever I’m yours, forever I do.
I get to love you, I get to love you.
I get to love you, I get to love you.

They say love is a journey, I promise that I’ll never leave.
When it’s too heavy to carry, remember this moment with me.
I get to love you, I get to love you,
I get to love you.


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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Uncategorized



Tomorrow I meet with a representative of the Veteran’s Administration who helps veterans apply for additional benefits.  I meet with her to talk about my dad’s situation and I have to provide her with another whole slew of information that I have provided, in part, to others involved in this financial requirement quagmire.  But before that meeting, I will have to take my four-year-old son to preschool and then back to his grandmother, who will watch him while I attend that meeting.

Amazing how you can cerebrally know about a situation and intellectually understand it without having a real clue about how it plays out in a life… until it plays out in your own life.  I am sandwiched.  Running the kiddo around to preschool and playdates.  And fielding phone calls about my dad’s next doctor’s appointment and figuring out if I can make it to that one.  Falling into bed at night thinking, “Crap. I don’t think my son brushed his teeth today.  And I didn’t get that check sent off for dad’s taxes.” Sigh. Sleep.

Some days it feels more like sandbagged.

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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Love and My Favorite Western

Lonesome Dove is my favorite western. Over Christmas we had a Lonesome Dove marathon right here on our black leather couch, all snug and cozy in our cabin while the mercury dropped and snow blew. Watching Texas Rangers wrangle and drive cattle across the country.

The two main characters, Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae, seemed to be about as different as night and day.  Stoic vs gregarious.  Unbending vs flexible.  Tight-lipped vs chatty.  You get the idea…black vs white.  Captian Call seemed to need no one and want no one.  Captain McCrae sought out and relished interaction.

Love is what they had in common.  They loved deeply.  Crusty, scraggly love creeped out from around the edges of their Texas Ranger hardness.  Carving wooden headstones, saving hostages from Native American outlaws, incessant arguing were a few of their expressions of love for friends and each other.

Love. The enduring theme of all great movies.

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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Uncategorized


Little Bo Peep

…has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them
Leave them alone and they’ll come home
Wagging their tails behind them.

I still have that book of nursery rhymes my mother read to me as a child. One night she told me to tell her the stories. From then on bedtime stories turned into me seeing how many nursery rhymes I could recite on my own. Lying on my little twin bed under the eaves of the old farmhouse roof, I recited stories about Peter the Pumpkin Eater, Mary and her garden of silver bells, and Little Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet. Before long, I’d fall asleep in the middle of a verse and mom would tuck me in.

Eventually, we grew out of that routine.  Little girls grow up and leave the ‘tucking-in’ behind them.  But those nursery rhymes buried themselves in my memory bank, laying dormant, waiting for an opportunity to be called up.

Fast forward about some thirty-odd years to a log-cabin.

I sit under the sloped eaves of a mountain log cabin, on the floor, next to my son’s little bed.  He’s fighting a nap – so afraid to close his eyes for fear of missing out on something. And out they come – those characters and rhymes from my childhood. Once again the clock strikes one and down the mouse runs. Jack and Jill are running up the hill and the kittens have lost their mittens.

I am transported to a time when I was connected to my mother through stories, rhymes, and bedtime.  I stroke my son’s forehead and the connection extends across the next generation.

Now, if he’d just go to sleep!

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Posted by on December 28, 2016 in Uncategorized


He is Safe

Move in day to the Veterans Home was hard. The staff made it better and bearable. He seemed to adjust overnight to the fact that this was his new home. I still fight the guilt that creeps up the inside of my throat like bad chili.

I remind myself in those moments that he’s safe. That he is now being taken care of better than he can take care of himself and better than I can take care of him. When he’s doing very well, it’s easy to question if I’ve done the right thing. But as quickly as the question arises, my dad makes a statement that is so out of left field and wrong that I know he’s in the right place.

Doing the right thing for a parent who is physically and cognitively challenged, even if that’s the thing they don’t want, is hard. Letting go of all the inappropriate and mean comments, letting go of all the times he was not there for me when I needed him, letting go of the anger of how he has lived his life, it’s like taking 100 pound stone off my back.

Now I can walk lightly next to him and love. 

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Posted by on December 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

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